[78-L] L & H music

Mark Bardenwerper citrogsa at charter.net
Sat Apr 16 10:10:15 PDT 2011

On 4/16/2011 11:04, David Breneman wrote:
> --- On Sat, 4/16/11, John G.<jgozza at ntlworld.com>  wrote:
>> 1.  Identity of the original band ?  Would it
>> have been a Victor house band involving one of the Shilkrets
>> ?
> Don't know that one.
>> 2. How would the recordings have been taken ? Onto disc and
>> then transferred to film ?  And if so -  do any of
>> the original recordings of the band exist  (other than
>> off the soundtrack ) ??
> The sound recording process used by Hal Roach was sort of
> a patent-evading mechanism that used a stylus to cut a
> variable-area soundtrack into a strip of film that had a
> black emulsion coating on the side facing the stylus
> (the deeper the stylus cut, the wider the clear area it
> created.  This was then printed optically onto the
> release print.  The process was inherently noisy, so
> they started using music beds just to hide the hiss.
> I'm going to assume (a dangerous thing to do here) that
> the music was originally recorded on disks then dubbed
> to film, since if it was direct to film Victor would
> have not needed to be involved.  Someone please correct
> me if I'm wrong.
I think you are close to right on this. When watching a large number of 
L&H's, you realize they reuse the same little ditties over and over. 
They were used as mood enhancers and were typical to most low budget 
films of the day, such as Our Gang Comedies. As the sound era 
progressed, they decreasingly relied upon the musical score. It would be 
safe to say that many early talkies could be played in theaters that did 
not have synchronized sound and still be watchable.
Though Chaplin was slow to move away from silent film, he was not the 
only one who hesitated. MGM was late into the game, primarily because 
the cost of equipping their theaters was prohibitive and the depression 
was quickly upon them. There is a prevailing myth that the actors were 
thwarted by the transition, and in some cases this was true. Accents and 
voices that did not match images were not uncommon, but the primary 
reason was the new acting styles were not natural to them and fresh 
talent was in the wings, people like Bogart, Grant etc. who relied more 
on dialogue for effect.

Mark L. Bardenwerper, Sr. #:?)
Technology, thoughtfully, responsibly.
Visit me at http://www.candokaraoke.com

More information about the 78-L mailing list